Last night I dreamed my next-door neighbor knocked on my door. After a few days he had cooled down and wanted to talk. I listened to him as he explained his opinions and when he was done I said this:
M, look around you. Since the vandalizing of our signs and since you yelled at me your house is almost completely surrounded by neighbors with Kerry posters in their front yards. No matter who is elected in two weeks, you will have to live with us (and we you) for much longer than a presidential term. Is this how you want to live?
Your neighbors core beliefs differ widely from your own. But you have not been chastised for your views. In fact, the First Amendment is alive and well here. All of us respect your right to voice your opinion. I know this because I have spoken to our neighbors about what happened between us.
Interestingly, we share a concern for the future. The world we lived in is not the same as it was when we were young. And I can assure you Susie and I think seriously about the country we are holding in trust for our children. We are as concerned about the society they will inherit as you and your wife are.
That being said, I expect the same respect for our beliefs as we are willing to give to yours. These are the things worth fighting for. John Kerry and George Bush are only avatars for our Constitution and the culture that has developed from it. They represent us and the differences between us. Yet, they will never share this neighborhood and our daily lives here. What happens on this street is our responsibility.
Look around you, M. What do you really see?
When I was finished, M looked at me for a minute without saying anything. Then he walked away. I didn’t know what he thought.
• • •
In reality, Kerry signs are indeed all around his house now. According to the county Democratic headquarters election posters should be at least 6 feet from the street and posted no earlier than 30 days before an election. I have a call into the county zoning office to confirm that.
Update: According to our county zoning office, you can put up as many temporary political signs as you want anywhere on your property (including the easement next to the curb). They can’t be up more than 30 days and can’t occupy more than 10 square feet in total.